0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:39 – Speaker 2
Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim On AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyberparent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, find our video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:01:06 – Speaker 4
Today we’re talking about preparing your kids for the real world, like sending them out, launching them. Anyway, we have an amazing young woman with us today Hadley Bristol. She is 22,. Young, beautiful, fun, smart and the daughter of one of our team members. Her nextTalk she is going to talk to us a little bit about what she feels her parents did right to launch her into adulthood.
0:01:30 – Speaker 5
Yes, tell us about yourself. Well, hello.
0:01:35 – Speaker 3
So, yes, I am Hadley Bristol, 22, from San Antonio, texas. I just graduated from Baylor with a major in religion and, yeah, I get to talk today about all the things my parents did, right.
0:01:51 – Speaker 4
We were going to say what did they do wrong?
0:01:53 – Speaker 3
but we had a good laugh about that. We sat down and my dad’s like you want to talk about all the things we did, right? It would be easier to do the wrong sometimes. But yeah, that was kind of a disclaimer. Just when I was talking with my mom, she goes. You know, I think I did a really good job raising you, but she’s like we’re human, we did a lot of things wrong. We did a lot of things that we would have done better if we had known.
0:02:20 – Speaker 5
So, yeah, hindsight is always 20, 20. Always I mean, I’m in the middle of it, raising my kids, and I look back what I did three years ago and I’m like, oh, I should have handled that better.
0:02:30 – Speaker 4
You know like we’re constantly learning, Always trying to do our best.
0:02:33 – Speaker 5
So what do you have going on next? You just graduated Baylor, because I think this is kind of cool.
0:02:38 – Speaker 3
Yes, so I God, has been so good. He told me, I want you to go to seminary. He told me that about two years ago and I was like what? And at the time.
I was trying to go to law school. I remember praying for you and I was just kind of taking it back and I was like, okay, and a lot of other stuff happened in my life and it was just made really, really clear by God and through prayer that like I was supposed to go to seminary and I started applying and I got accepted to Vanderbilt Divinity School and with a really great scholarship. And it was just like my parents were like okay, well, it’s kind of like an open door yeah.
And it was yeah. It was made so clear and so evident and it was just like this is where I’m supposed to go, this is what I’m supposed to do. And I had never been to Nashville before. I just accepted the offer and was like, okay, I hope I like it.
0:03:29 – Speaker 4
Nashville is cool.
0:03:31 – Speaker 5
I used to live three hours from Nashville, so we would do a lot of weekend trips there and it’s just. I’m so excited for you.
0:03:37 – Speaker 3
I’m excited for myself. I’m just. It’s just. God is so good, because this is not what I saw myself doing and I’m just feel so comfortable with it, but also so excited to learn more and do new things.
0:03:53 – Speaker 5
You know what I feel like. That’s what obedience feels like. You’re like uncertain, but you’re at peace.
0:03:59 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I actually wrote something on like an Instagram post and I said and kind of a prose, I said I feel like I’m an artifact of God’s obedience because, like, after everything of going through all this crazy stuff, and I came out the end of it with this, this opportunity to go to one of the best schools in the country and get my masters and further my education, because I was obedient, because I listened to him.
0:04:24 – Speaker 5
So pretty cool. He blesses his people.
0:04:27 – Speaker 3
We’re excited for you, thank you.
0:04:29 – Speaker 5
Okay, so let’s just dive right in, because I mean we got parents out there that are like I want to equip my kid, like I want my kid to be, like Hadley graduate from college, want to get more education, be grounded like you are, and so what? How did you get here? Like, what did your parents do?
0:04:48 – Speaker 3
right, just kind of getting into like how I grew up and stuff. I was really blessed to have like two parents who loved me and who wanted me. Like they waited for a long time before they were married to decide to have me and they always told me that growing up but it didn’t really mean a lot to me as a little kid.
But now that I have friends who were accidents- or things like that and they joke about it and like that is so sad. Like I was always told growing up how much I was wanted.
0:05:18 – Speaker 5
You know interesting so kids have been told by their parents you weren’t actually surprised like a joke and I’m
0:05:26 – Speaker 3
like so sad, but I know I was. We grew up a military family so we moved a lot. My dad flew for the Air Force for 25 years so that was kind of non-standard because we did move a lot. I was born abroad and then, you know, my dad was deployed multiple times for really extended amounts of time in war zones doing really scary things. That were a lot of the times classified so he couldn’t tell us what he was doing.
We just knew he was somewhere in the Middle East doing scary things and my mom, you know, is an incredibly y’all know her she’s incredibly strong woman. She can just take charge of any room anywhere and she had to do a lot of single parenting because because of that, because my dad would be deployed and she moved us from we were stationed in Germany and she moved us to San Antonio on her own here, for 18 months without my dad. New city, didn’t know anyone had to like move into a home and everything and she, she did that all with a sixth grader and a second grader.
0:06:43 – Speaker 5
So that sounds overwhelming to me Like an exhausting and just like yeah. But I feel like maybe in hindsight it’s made you a great person because you aren’t as scared to travel, I mean, you don’t mind moving to a different town that you’ve never been to you, know You’ve never done it before. Yeah, I mean, you’ve learned these skills of picking up and moving and meeting new friends and being able to do that, and that’s that’s a great life skill to have, you know.
0:07:12 – Speaker 4
Yeah, I think too. What? What I take away from just the beginning of your story is so often parents think well, you know, I’m a single parent, so I’m not going to be able to raise my kids like someone who had a mom and a dad.
Or you know, we travel a lot and we’re not connected in the community, or or, or or, and I think this kind of makes the point that you are very close with your parents. Yes, and despite the changes and the non-traditional family and the moving and having to be flexible, it was the relationship that was the core of what made you who you are.
And so all those external things that all of us stress about and worry about, like, well, my life’s different than theirs and I’m not going to be able to have, you know, the successful parenting journey. Really, it comes back to the relationship, no matter what’s going on on the outside.
0:08:00 – Speaker 3
So, yeah, absolutely, I am so close to my little sister. She’s four years younger than me but she’s like one of my best friends in the whole world and I’m super, super close to my mom because all we had for a long period of time was just, you know, the three of us, three amigos, and we get annoyed with each other and we would fight with each other and we would just, you know, but at the end of the day, you know, you got each other’s back. Yeah, absolutely, and you were just saying, you know, we didn’t really have a community, and we were. We were where we live now. We’re 40 minutes away from the nearest air force base, it’s like a drive. So we were far away from that community too.
0:08:37 – Speaker 4
So we were just in our little bubble like, all right, buckle up, yeah, yeah, so Now we know your mama and she’s talked a lot about you know, raising you guys and what was important, and one of the things that you have mentioned is that questions were always welcomed in your home. Yes, tell us what you mean by that.
0:08:56 – Speaker 3
Well, it’s everything from really silly things, because my little sister, as you all know, is just a very loud, extroverted, rambunctious, wonderful human being. You know she’s in the room, you do, you do. But even from like a young age she was like that and she would ask my mom questions like Mom, what does God’s mom make him for dinner? Does Jesus’ mom make him mac and cheese? Just like these questions of so everything, my mom would be like, well, sweetheart, and she would try her best to answer things, everything from things like that to questions like, you know, when you’re in third, fourth grade, they start talking to an elementary school about drugs.
0:09:40 – Speaker 4
I have found my kids test me with little questions. Like you know, does Jesus like fruit loops.
0:09:46 – Speaker 3
And if I answer their little?
0:09:48 – Speaker 4
questions. Then they come to me with the big things. It’s like they want to see if you’ll answer the small things, and it sounds like she both your parents really were open to answering any question and having any discussion and planting those seeds at a young age about safety and you have a safe place with them and that you are wanted and that you are loved. So when the big things came, you knew where to go.
0:10:11 – Speaker 3
And it wasn’t like in a cheesy way, like well, sweetheart, you know, this could. It was in a very like I knew it was important and I knew that I needed to pay attention and clearly it meant something, because I remember it, you know.
0:10:25 – Speaker 4
And speaking about, you know open conversations and being able to ask about anything or talk about anything. I’m sure as you got a little bit older and the drug conversation transitioned into boys and relationships, how was that handled in your home, Because I think that’s a big one for parents.
0:10:41 – Speaker 3
Oh my, I am so much more introverted than everyone in my family. So you know my mom and my sister, they’re both just so extroverted and but they were always really good about being like. You know, you don’t have to be embarrassed if you like a boy from like age seven, you know, because that’s normal when you’re in elementary school to have really innocent just like oh my gosh, so and so is so cute with his. You know, spiky hair or whatever it is you think is cute when you’re seven.
But my mom was always like it’s okay, you know you don’t have to be embarrassed about this sort of thing, and she’d always encourage like you know you can tell me, or you can tell me if you think you have a crush on him or something. You know it was never this weird thing and it was never ever condemned like maybe you’re too young hours it’s like you’re seven, you’re a little girl, it’s a, it’s okay, it’s normal.
0:11:34 – Speaker 5
It’s natural that you feel this way, it’s not a bad thing.
0:11:38 – Speaker 3
And then that carried on through, you know, through middle school and high school, and my parents were always very encouraging, like you know. Dating is healthy. Dating is normal Once you get to the right age. I mean, they weren’t like I was 11. Get out there.
No, yeah, they were definitely like it was like high school, because I didn’t start dating until geez, I was like 17, 18,. I was definitely like a lot later, but they were always like, no, this is good, this is healthy. And they had, you know, my high school boyfriend. They had him over for dinner and he was like part of the family and my sister hung out with us and I was over at his house and I knew his family and it was this very like healthy thing.
It wasn’t this threatening like if you ever touched my daughter you know my parents trusted, you know, that I was going to date someone who was a good person and worth my time. And, like I said, you know, by that point I was 17, 18, I was almost an adult. So, yeah, they just trusted my judgment and they got to know this person and they got to, you know, view him as you know, kind of a part of the family, and so it was never this uncomfy, weird situation. I felt really comfortable telling my parents if we were having, you know, an argument or something or anything like that.
0:12:58 – Speaker 4
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0:13:26 – Speaker 2
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0:13:52 – Speaker 4
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0:13:59 – Speaker 5
We have Hadley Bristol in the studio today. She is a 20-year-old college student getting ready to get her Masters of Divinity. Yes, wow, that blows my mind.
0:14:08 – Speaker 3
Me too so awesome.
0:14:09 – Speaker 5
She’s a graduate of Baylor University. For all you Baylor fans out there, you sick of it. And we are talking about real world prep, like what her parents did, right, and we’ve covered like her background and her family’s background. And I loved how she said, you know, from a very little age questions could be answered. It was an open communication type of environment and we just kind of went into this dating aspect and I kind of want to go back to that and camp out for a minute here, because you said you know from early on it was okay, it was natural that you had crushes and then, as you got older, you know your parents were like part of the process, like getting to know your boyfriend and inviting him over. And I know I’ve heard your mom say before you know I wanted her to practice under my roof before she went off to college.
You know with this whole dating thing and I think that’s such great advice. But walk us through that a little bit more about the dating thing. I know one thing that I, you know, cover in my book is the purity ring, and I think I want to talk about the purity thing a little bit. You know, so many times sometimes we’re like here’s a purity ring and then we never talked to our kids about sex or we never talked to our kids about what that actually even means. You know, and I mean I don’t want to condemn the purity ring, if that’s your thing, then, you know, do the thing. But the conversations need to be there as well. The life lessons need to be there, and I mean tell us a little bit, like what, what do you think about that?
0:15:38 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so I have plenty of friends who who wear purity rings and that’s something really important to them. But I really don’t think you can give an 11 year old, a 12 year old, a purity ring who’s never dated, never been in a relationship, who might biologically understand how sex works, but if they’ve never been had a really big crush on a boy or been on a date, that they’re probably not going to understand the sign, full significance of a purity ring and what my mom’s when I was talking to my mom yesterday and she said you can’t teach purity unless you’ve experienced lust. Yeah, and I remember and I was like who? Because I remember when I first, you know, when my parents sat me down and explained to me what sex was and how it worked and everything, I was like gross.
0:16:33 – Speaker 5
I am never going to do that I remember my kids saying that line do I ever have to do that?
0:16:38 – Speaker 4
Never do that.
0:16:39 – Speaker 5
That sounds horrible. But then what happens?
0:16:41 – Speaker 3
You get into a relationship and then you’re like, oh, it’s like biology, that’s the way the human mind, that’s the way God made us to be, is like when you’re 17 and you’ve got your first boyfriend and not, you know and you you, you kiss him for the first time, you’re like, oh, this feels, this feels great, this is what my body was meant to do, and you would like to continue doing all of the steps of that process.
And then you’re like, oh, this is what it means to be pure, is that, even though I want to do this and I and you might even love that person, you know, you know, I, I love this person and I, I want to take this next step, but I, you know, purity is making the commitment, while I’m not going to and tell I and marry or whatever that is for you in your life, and I, yeah, I made that commitment and I had, you know, in a hallway when I was 12, like, yeah, I’m never, I’m not going to have sex till I’m 18. But it wasn’t until I was in, you know, my high school relationship that I was like, oh shoot, this is very difficult, this is real, yeah, and I was 18, 19 and a freshman in college when we were dating. So we had plenty of opportunities to do whatever we wanted, but I made the decision not to, you know, because it was important to me, and these were conversations that were happening under your roof.
0:18:02 – Speaker 4
Yeah, that’s what I was going to say.
0:18:03 – Speaker 5
So could you talk to your parents about, like, when you were like oh, I understand because of the desires that I’m having and that is what helped guide you in that, or the grounding I mean, where did it all come from, do you think?
0:18:16 – Speaker 3
Well, my mom would um. She’s never weird or anything. Like we were in the kitchen, she was like so are you having sex?
0:18:24 – Speaker 5
No, she’s never, weird she don’t be weird parents. Yeah, she’s never weird.
0:18:29 – Speaker 3
Don’t be weird. Um, I, how do I phrase this? So, yeah, it was just because we were spending all this time together and we were together all the time and she, she would ask me very casually she goes, you know, if, if it gets to the point and you decide to take this next step, you know I am, I want you to be on birth control. I want y’all to be safe, because at that time I was a legal adult, I was about to go to college. There was not that my parents would be legalistic or anything, but there was nothing they could have done if I had wanted to have a sexual relationship. So my parents are both like well, you know, if this is what you want to do, then you need to be on birth control, you need to be using all of the, the proper steps, you need to have this conversation with him and everything. And I was very adamant. I’m like, well, I’m not going to. And they were like but if you want to, I’m like, no, I’m not going to.
0:19:24 – Speaker 4
But you were able to talk through it.
0:19:26 – Speaker 5
Yeah, I feel like sometimes, as parents, we like forbid it or we are like lay down the law or say this is so awful, and it almost causes kids to be pushed into that direction, like, well, I’m gonna do it, then I’m gonna. That was me. So I’m speaking from experience. You know, like I was a rebellious child because I didn’t have that.
I didn’t have the. Come tell me if you need help, or come tell me if you’ve used drugs, or come tell me if you want to have sex, like I didn’t have any of that, and so I guess that’s why I’m so passionate, too, about helping create that for kids, because it can do a lot of damage and you don’t have that space to be honest and again, it’s not.
0:20:06 – Speaker 3
It shouldn’t be a shameful thing, like if you’re in a committed relationships with someone, even if you’re 17, 18, it shouldn’t be a shameful thing that you wanna have that type of relationship With someone, that you love.
And it was my first relationship and it was a big deal to both of us and that was natural and I was never shamed. I was never told, well, you don’t know what you’re feeling, you’re just a kid or anything. Especially, my mom always respected it. She goes well, this isn’t gonna last forever and it didn’t. It was a good little high school relationship but she always respected it. That those feelings you have now are real.
0:20:48 – Speaker 4
And she validated your feelings.
0:20:50 – Speaker 3
She did and yeah, so it was never. I was never shamed.
0:20:56 – Speaker 5
That’s important. I think that’s extremely important. We talked to a counselor on a previous show and she said with any type of feeling, you need to validate that feeling of your child those are real feelings and then help them get past on how to handle that feeling. And I think that’s extremely important for parents to understand that. Okay, what else you got for us?
0:21:18 – Speaker 4
Well, I think you know, in talking to you and talking to your mom, she’s always said to us that she felt like you guys could do anything, which, of course, you’re amazing young ladies and very talented in a lot of different ways.
0:21:32 – Speaker 5
What do you mean? What do you mean could do anything? I’m thinking like you mean have sex? No, okay, we’re turning a corner woman.
0:21:38 – Speaker 3
Okay, wait, I just had to clarify, because I’m like an astronaut or they could be a politician or a teacher or a mom.
0:21:44 – Speaker 5
I’m sorry, we were talking about sex and you said that and I’m like wait a minute, what? Okay, go ahead, go ahead.
0:21:51 – Speaker 3
No my parents were very we’re awesome parents and probably the way I talk about them in this podcast people are listening are like man, your parents are like hippies or something. But no, they were actually pretty strict when I was younger and they really wanted us to be good kids and things like that. But one of the things that I know when I have children that I wanna do is kind of raise my kids. This sounds really liberal, but to raise my kids without like gender rules cause that’s how I was raised was and again, that sounds so weird and liberal. But my parents like raise me as a child. They’re like whatever you’re interested in, you can go do so. I did ballet and I played soccer and I was obsessed with like bottle rockets and space because, my dad was a pilot yes, so I love that.
And my grandparents had a farm like 30 minutes away from us, so I learned how to shoot a gun yeah, I learned how to use farm equipment. I knew how to ride horses. I was in the dirt all the time I was outside and it was never told to me, like you can’t do this because you’re a girl, right, and from that I was literally told that I could do occupation-wise yes. Literally anything I wanted.
0:23:11 – Speaker 4
0:23:11 – Speaker 3
I remember one time I I don’t know why I have all these memories in the back of my parents’ car, but at one point I asked my dad. I was like so I can do anything? And he’s like yes, you can do anything you want, you know, as long as you’re happy and we’ll always love you. She’s so sweet. And then I said, dad, can I be a drummer in a rock band?
0:23:30 – Speaker 1
Or something, and he’s like sure which.
0:23:33 – Speaker 3
I’ve never played an instrument. I don’t know why, as an eight-year-old, I wanted to do that. Kids like to test it though.
0:23:38 – Speaker 5
0:23:38 – Speaker 4
Yeah, yeah, it sounded really cool to me, I guess. Well, I think the cool thing here is that your parents kind of gave you wings to explore things that you like and want to do, but one of the things that you said is that they also made sure you knew you were responsible for your decisions and your actions. Oh, yeah, and I think that’s that full circle parenting.
0:23:56 – Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah, that goes back to to my parents were were not mean, but just definitely strict when I was younger. Sure, and that surprises a lot of my friends now, because they come over and they hang out and they’re like, oh my gosh, you’re so close to your parents Like man. That must have been so fun growing up and I’m like no.
0:24:12 – Speaker 2
My parents were we had a.
0:24:14 – Speaker 3
We’re very strict and and one of the things that like sucks when you’re eight but is awesome when you’re 22 is that my parents were always like you know, if you do something, you do it fully, you complete it. And that was everything with eating your dinner you ate every single bite To. If you got something out to play with it, you put it up and you put it away. If you were enrolled in activity or a class or something, you did 100% of it. If you had something like a toy or something you really liked, you took care of it because you know you take care of your stuff.
I just it feels silly for me to have to say that, because it was so ingrained in me. But it’s like you take care of your stuff because it lasts longer. You know it lasts longer, it’s, it’s good. And now I’m like I have so many friends who just just you know they want something and just go out and buy it, yeah, and I’m like, oh my gosh, like I can’t even you know so financially, now I have those skills that rather than going and buying new things, I just take care of the stuff I have and it lasts longer. Sure, I was not like. I was not taught that things are disposable.
0:25:21 – Speaker 5
0:25:22 – Speaker 4
Well, I think the bottom line from everything you said here, I mean there are things that we can, the takeaways are close relationship with your kids you know, no matter what your circumstances are. Close relationship, any question. Nothing is off limits. Talk about everything. Be a.
Allow your child to explore any kind of a thing that they’re interested in, but teach them to be responsible for their actions and that it does matter at the end of what they do, and I think that’s helpful for all parents when they’re getting ready to launch their kids and wondering what do I do?
0:25:53 – Speaker 5
Thank you so much, hadley, for being on the show today. It was great insight.
0:25:57 – Speaker 2
Yes, we appreciate it, holly, we love you, I know you’re listening Hi mom, thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, the Word. You are not alone, trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our video series and podcast At nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page